Wild Trails Coffee is a family-run coffee shop based in North Vancouver. VHS spoke with this mother-daughter team about their decision to make the coffee shop fully vegan and their commitment to helping protect animal welfare, the environment and public health.
What inspired you to open Wild Trails Coffee and what do you think sets you apart from other coffee shops?
We’re a mother-daughter team and my mom opened this shop about 30 years ago. It used to be called Mothers Herbs. When I became involved about five years ago I wanted to focus on coffees and a lot of inspiration came from my love of hiking. I spent a year working on our coffee syrups, perfecting them using real organic ingredients and no chemicals or fake added sugars.
As a business owner I didn’t want to cut corners and care only about profit. You can be a business that does well while caring about the Earth, animals and people, and that’s what we do at Wild Trails Coffee and what we’re about. We are a business that cares about doing our part to make the world a better place and will go the extra mile for people, animals and the planet.
You recently posted online about the shop’s decision to ditch dairy and go fully vegan – can you tell us about the motivation behind that decision?
I’ve been vegan for a long time now and it just never felt right using dairy, so my mom and I decided to replace it with dairy-free alternatives in the shop and now our shop is 100% vegan! We didn’t think so many people would care, but we were blown away by the support and we knew we made the right choice.
You also talk about the shop’s commitment to sustainability on your website – can you tell us about that?
We work hard to reduce our environmental footprint. All of our cups, straws and lids are compostable and we also compost everything we can within the shop. We work with a company to recycle the rest and even go through our garbage at the end of the day to make sure everything that can be recycled is.
What are your most popular items?
Our specialty coffee drinks, like our Wedgemount Lake Vanilla Latte and Elsay Lake Pumpkin Spice Latte are among our most popular items. We use real pumpkin and vanilla bean for our syrups. Our smoothies are very popular as well and we don’t use any ice, just frozen organic fruit. We also use water kefir as the base for our smoothies, which is a dairy-free probiotic that’s made in-house with spring water collected weekly from a local spring.
Do you have any helpful advice for other restaurants and businesses who might be considering going vegan?
Go for it! We need more businesses to stand up for animals and as business owners who care about these issues we recognized we were in a position to do more. There’s growing support and more people are embracing veganism every day! It’s also a great way to educate people about the impact of our food choices and to lead by example.